The Hottest Milk Alternative: Oat Milk

The Hottest Milk Alternative: Oat Milk

Over the years, traditional cow’s milk has been hailed as the undisputed champion in the dairy world. It is packed with protein and calcium and as a bonus, contains Vitamin B which boosts bone health even further. Not to mention the fact that Vitamin D fights osteoporosis like a boss.

However, numerous people around the world cannot tap into the health benefits that cow’s milk has to offer. Whether they are lactose intolerant or vegan, it is a healthy source that is beyond their reach. It would seem that an oat milk alternative is on the table and it gives traditional milk a good run for its money

Nutritional benefits

Pacific foods’ was one of the firsts companies to offer an oat milk alternative, and boasted some decent figures when it was compared to traditional milk. It contains 130 calories, 2 grams of fat and 105 milligrams of sodium. On the carb front, it has much less, coming in at only 26 grams and a mere 17 grams of total sugars. Although it has less protein than cow’s milk, it still serves up more than any other milk alternative at 4 grams.

Apart from the major nutrients that oat milk contains, it also contains a host of trace nutrients like the B vitamins thiamin and folate, the minerals magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and copper. All of which makes it an even bigger contender for the ultimate alternative.

Sports dietitian, Leslie Bonci, recommended paying attention to these nutritional facts when it was compared to normal cow’s milk and other non-dairy alternatives, seeing that the difference between them was substantial. New York-based dietitian Keri Gans added to the above-mentioned facts when she alluded to oat milk’s secret weapon. It is unusual for any non-dairy beverage to have any fiber, which makes oat milk unique.

Fiber is that special ingredient that makes a lot of things in your body work like a well-oiled machine. The daily dietary intake of fiber should be around 25 grams a day, and this helps your body manage its cholesterol levels and stabilize blood glucose levels.

Fiber also keeps you regular. It absorbs liquid which lubricates the bowels and enables you to pass a stool with relative ease. Although a serving of oat milk only has around 2 grams of fiber, it still makes a difference seeing that most people don’t get enough fiber in their diets to begin with.

Oat milk is not only for those who are vegan or allergic to milk, but also for those who have nut allergies. Then there are also those who would like to cut back on saturated fats.

For the gluten intolerant or celiac disease-ridden folks, oat milk is generally also a safe bet. However, it needs to be said that gluten-free oats were used to make the milk. Although oats are naturally gluten-free, they are often processed by machines that process gluten-rich grains as well.

Versatility

If you have ever come across oat milk, the first major difference you would have noticed was its texture. Oat milk has a much thicker texture and comes across as creamier due to this texture, not to mention its sweet undertone which makes it very tasty.

Many coffee shops and baristas around the world are starting to take notice of the oat milk alternative. It froths up like nobody’s business and is perfect for making irresistible lattes, cappuccinos and other coffee drinks.

If cow’s milk can do it, so can oat milk. If you know your way around a kitchen, you’ll know that milk is an essential ingredient for your culinary creations. It can substitute milk as the liquid in your favorite waffle or pancake recipe or be used in your soups, sauces, casseroles and baked goods.

Its versatility doesn’t end in the kitchen. The fitness fanatics among us will fall in love with oat milk as it provides instant energy in the form of a pre-workout drink. Although it’s thick texture can be off-putting for some, the fact that it is dairy-free and fiber-rich makes it easy on the stomach. You don’t have to gulp down a glass on its own, rather use it to make a smoothie and sweat it out at the gym.

Environmentally friendly

As the world population grows, the need for commercial farms and production is increasing. However, the space in which to farm is getting less, and the nutrients in the soils are also being depleted. Due to the growing demand for cow milk, the cows are subject to all kinds of hormones to increase their milk production, and in turn, the nutritious value of the milk decreases.

The oat milk alternative is much less taxing on the environment. It is a hearty crop that will flourish where other grains fail. Its hearty nature enables it to grow in a range of climates and soil types.

Oat crops have shown to improve the soil quality as they help restore the nutrients in the form of their husks and shoots that stay behind harvested. They also suppress weeds. Oat crops can be incorporated into a crop rotation program for commercial farmers who experience colder spells of weather.

Apart from the fact that oat crops are good for the soil they are planted in, they don’t require as much water as other non-dairy milk alternatives. Almond milk, which is the closest competitor to oat milk uses up to five times the amount of water to keep the crops healthy. What is disturbing is that around 80% of the world’s almonds come from California, a state that has been subject to severe drought in recent times.

Most grain crops are subject to many pests which require pesticides. Oat crops are not as susceptible to pests and insects as other grain crops and require fewer pesticides. This is good news for the organic conscious consumer. Your body will be subject to much fewer toxins, and you won’t have to drink milk that is enhanced by all kinds of hormones.

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